A Nigerian prince and his accomplice were busted for scamming people thousands of dollars from running a bogus employment agency.
The authorities identified the suspects as 31-year-old Osmond Eweka, a member of the Benin royal family. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office also said that the Nigerian prince’s co-defendant, 27-year-old Kamel McKay, allegedly already scammed more than 250 victims from January to June 2018.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Nigerian prince busted for fake employment agency scam: suit <a href="https://t.co/Jdc47qm7vD">https://t.co/Jdc47qm7vD</a> <a href="https://t.co/LvKoXmCvZw">pic.twitter.com/LvKoXmCvZw</a></p>— New York Post (@nypost) <a href="https://twitter.com/nypost/status/1022635832430264321?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 27, 2018</a></blockquote>
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McKay was arrested in May while Eweka had his arraignment on Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Court records also show that the suspects allegedly targeted job seekers on the site indeed.com, giving them sweet promises to find them work, from front-desk receptionists and hotel housekeepers, in exchange for a fee of around $300 to $700.
Prosecutor Catherine McCaw said that the scammers made their victims believe that the fee was supposed to cover the cost of uniforms, training and background checks. The truth was, there were really no jobs waiting for the hopeful victims.
The suspects did not only duped victims of their money, but they also subjected them to humiliating situations. After interviewing them and collecting the supposed fee, the alleged fraudsters sent them to their “work sites” only to be turned away by employers who weren’t expecting them in the first place.
Confused and embarrassed, the job-seekers weren’t even able to seek clarification from the suspects as the alleged fraudsters cut contact after running away with their money.
Prosecutors estimate that the scamming duo pocketed at least $54,000 in fees and didn’t provide a single job.
Eweka allegedly ran his fraud out of an Empire State Building office under the alias Sean Jackson. He married an attorney in 2016 in an elaborate wedding ceremony in Nigeria. It is not clear what his residency or employment status in the U.S.
McKay,on the other hand, used the name Tyrone Hayes, operated his part pf the scam at a rented office at 48 Wall Street.